HORNE LLP Acquires Cybersecurity Firm Halberd Group, Establishes HORNE Cyber Solutions

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HORNE LLP, one of the top 50 accounting and business advisory firms in the nation, announced today the acquisition of the Halberd Group and the subsequent establishment of HORNE Cyber Solutions.

“We are focused on preparing our clients to protect themselves and their extended ecosystems against the rapidly evolving threats to their data and their operations,” said Partner in Charge Mike Skinner.

HORNE LLP, one of the top 50 accounting and business advisory firms in the nation, announced today the acquisition of the Halberd Group and the subsequent establishment of HORNE Cyber Solutions.

“Cybersecurity has quickly become one of the biggest risks in business today,” Executive Partner Joey Havens told his team during the internal announcement. “We are committed to providing the expertise and guidance necessary for our clients to be anticipatory in addressing these growing threats to their business, their clients, and their reputation. HORNE Cyber Solutions will provide services that include assessments, comprehensive penetration testing, risk mitigation, remediation, and monitoring against these costly IT and data breaches.”

Partner Mike Skinner of HORNE’s Memphis office was named the partner in charge of HORNE Cyber Solutions.

“We are focused on preparing our clients to protect themselves and their extended ecosystems against the rapidly evolving threats to their data and their operations,” said Partner in Charge Mike Skinner. “This acquisition complements and extends our existing IT offers. To further explain, traditional IT assurance services help you to understand there is a lock on the door. Now, we are able to help you assess whether or not the locks work, and how many windows you might have open.”

Halberd Group co-founders Wesley McGrew and Kendall Blaylock have already transitioned to HORNE Cyber Solutions. Blaylock serves as director of information security, and McGrew serves as director of cyber operations. Both are nationally renowned for their work in cybersecurity and forensics. Co-founder of Halberd Group Brad Fuller will become director of client services for HORNE Cyber Solutions.

McGrew is a graduate of Mississippi State University's Department of Computer Science and Engineering and the Distributed Analytics and Security Institute. He holds a Ph.D. in computer science for his research in vulnerability analysis of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) Human Machine Interface (HMI) systems. He has lectured for the MSU National Forensics Training Center, which provided digital forensics training to law enforcement and wounded veterans. He teaches a self-designed course on reverse engineering to students at MSU, using real-world, high-profile malware samples, as part of gaining National Security Agency Center of Academic Excellence Cyber Ops certification for MSU. He is a presenter at Black Hat USA and DEF CON, and is the author of penetration testing and forensics tools used by many practitioners. He has previously held active security clearances.

Blaylock earned both a Bachelor and Master in Business Information Systems from Mississippi State University. Since 2007, Blaylock has worked with the National Forensics Training Center where he was responsible for training law enforcement and U.S. military veterans in a wide range of digital forensic skills.

Fuller, also a graduate of Mississippi State University, formerly worked for the United States Senate, where he served as a professional staff member on the Senate Appropriations Committee, subcommittee on energy and water development. He co-wrote legislation outlining spending of $32 billion annually and had oversight responsibilities of previous year funding for the Department of Energy and the Army Corps of Engineers, including cyber readiness of our nation’s critical assets. He later joined Federal Solutions LLC and co-founded Halberd Group LLC.

“The depth and expertise of our cyber team provides unique services that are game changers for our clients as they confront a changing digital landscape,” Havens said.

Additionally, more than 10 HORNE team members from locations across the Southeast have transitioned to the HORNE Cyber Solutions team. HORNE Cyber Solutions serves a distinct role in the firm with a team solely focused on IT services for clients in the areas of cybersecurity, strategic advisory, ERP services, regulatory compliance and IT assurance.

HORNE is a decidedly different CPA and business advisory firm that is changing expectations about accounting. HORNE goes beyond traditional accounting to steer clients through uncertainties and opportunities. We focus our knowledge and experience in banking, construction, franchise, government, healthcare and public and middle market. HORNE Wealth Advisors is a fiduciary partner to high-net worth individuals. Visit us at hornellp.com.

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Marla Saxton
HORNE LLP
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